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City University London supports Meat Free Monday campaign

City's main eatery goes meat free on Mondays in a bid to promote sustainable and healthy food.


City University London has signed up to the Meat Free Mondays campaign as part of its aim to provide healthy and sustainable food on campus. The initiative, launched in association with catering providers Sodexo and Lexington, will see the EATC1TY restaurant in Northampton Square cut meat from the menu once a week, starting from Monday 9th February.

The idea was put forward last year by postgraduate student Hema Rai as part of her Green Dragons sustainability project. Green Dragons is a scheme run by the Students' Union that allows students to create and deliver projects to improve sustainability at the University and the local community.

The purpose of the Meat Free Monday campaign Hema says, is to reduce the carbon and ecological footprint of the University. "We're not asking people to become a vegetarian or telling them how to live their life. The campaign is about raising awareness of the true cost of what it takes to produce meat. By making a small reduction in the amount of meat we consume, we would have an incredibly positive impact on the environment and our bodies."

City University London supports Meat Free Monday campaign in a bid to promote sustainable and healthy foods on campus. #MeatFreeMonday
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Research by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it "one of the top three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems". Reducing meat intake can also help cut the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and strokes according to findings by the Oxford University Department of Public Health. Green Dragons have estimated that City being meat free for one day a week could save 187 tonnes of meat every year - that's 360 cows.

Professor of Food Policy, Tim Lang said: "The rich world has to reduce its meat and dairy consumption. The evidence is overwhelming. It has a huge role in climate change, non-communicable disease, water and land use and biodiversity loss. The positive message is to eat more plants and less meat and dairy."

Meat Free Monday will be launched as part of Go Green week, taking place between 9th and 15th February. Throughout the week, students and staff will be encouraged to think about the impact of their food consumption and the decision to become healthier, by making more sustainable decisions. Representatives from the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign, a campaign by government-funded organisation WRAP, will also be visiting the University on Tuesday 11th February 2014 to run two workshops.

City has been recognised for its efforts to provide a more sustainable diet and has received a National Vegetarian Society award. The University was also praised for its work on sustainable food achievements in the recent People & Planet University League ranking City as the greenest university in London.

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